Seasons of Joy: Living a God-fashioned Life

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

I’m still sugar-free people!  That’s a few weeks now and the lack of sugar has meant I’ve finally lost the stone I put on after the operation.  I’ve done nothing but stop eating sugar and yet that stone has just dropped off.

I know I have a big battle ahead of me but it feels so much easier because I’m following God’s lead on this.

Right now I am focusing on two very similar verses (Romans 8 v12-14 and Ephesians 4 v-20-24).

Romans 8v12-14:  So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

Ephesians 4 v-20-24:   Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life

Here are some of the things I’ve been learning:

  • I love the contrast between Romans and an old ‘do-it-yourself’ life and the Ephesians new ‘God fashioned life’.  I have been trying to conquer these food issues by myself probably for 30 of my 40 years.  If God made me then He knows what will work for me and my body.  It’s funny, after spending nearly my entire life attempting to curb my eating and become as slim as I am certain I should have been (!) I am finally realising that I have both ingrained ‘dieting’ habits which are my go-to methods of losing weight.  I also realise that most of them are quick fixes and geared towards a fast and immediate weight loss but ultimately can not be maintained in the long-term – hence the weight off/weight on.
  • I am in the process of figuring out what belongs in the past and what belongs in my future.  Romans says that there is ‘nothing in it (the past) for me, nothing at all’.  All my go-to methods need to, well, go.  Ephesians emphasises this point by saying that ‘everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go‘  Sugar is the first step, but I think it is probably the first step of many and I am trying to listen very hard for the next one.
  • I love the Romans bit where it says that we don’t owe anything to our old life.  That to me, in this situation, means that my feelings towards food are not worth anything.  Yes, I do fully realise this passage is talking about a new life in Christ but God highlighted this passage to me with regards to my eating.  I know I have turned to food throughout an unhappy young childhood and at challenging times throughout my older teen years and adult years.  I also know that I use food to celebrate (I mean, who doesn’t?), meaning I eat when I’m happy, sad, stressed….basically whatever the emotion, I eat.  I realise I put too much value on it as a comforter and a fellow celebrator.  I am aware that food, whilst vital for survival, has been given far too great a role in my life, far too much power and worth.
  • There’s more, though, because believe it or not this isn’t so much about food.  Food is the plaster I use to self medicate.  I have feelings about myself which can not possibly be accurate.  I am almost certain that no one exists who is as ugly as I believe I am.  One’s self-image is firmly planted and grown in one’s childhood and I was told repeatedly that I was an ugly embarrassment.  My mum always told me the opposite, that I was beautiful, but as the cancer doctor said to me when he was explaining my diagnosis to me, ‘Humans like to gravitate towards the worst possible scenario, rather than the best’.  All these years I have chosen to believe the words of a man who was ill over the words of first my mum, then my husband.  We are all beautiful, even if not conventionally so.  We all contain beauty because we are created by a God who takes the greatest pleasure in us, all quirkiness included.  We are beautiful, every single one of us.  And that includes me.  I am choosing, from this day on, to believe in my mum’s words and my husband’s declarations, and not those of my dad.  We are all beautiful.  Period.
  • Finally the last sentence in Romans ‘There are things to do and places to go!’ excites me.  My perception of myself has held me back so many times in my life.  I hate being the center of attention or being in any situation where I feel I will be looked at (ie swimming pool), I lack courage to do simple things which I would love to learn to do (such as tackling my tone deafness and learning to sing in tune).  I know for certain that I have places to go, people to see and a life worth living fully.  Things are changing deep inside me.

I have more to learn from these passages but I thought I would share where I am right now.

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